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“The Kingdom Of Christ, Of God, Of Heaven” – Displays Of His Ruling Authority Throughout Time

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

To begin our study we need to understand what the Bible means when it speaks of a “kingdom”.  The word translated Kingdom in the NT is the Greek word “basileia”.  This word has two basic ideas behind it:

  1. The first idea is the AUTHORITY to rule that a King possesses (Luke 1:33, Luke 17:20-21, Matt 12:28 etc)
  2. The second idea is the REALM that is ruled over by a King. WhenBasileia is used in this way it can speak of either:
    1. the land area and physical possessions that a King rules over (Mat 4:8, Mark 6:23,  Heb 11:33 etc)
    2. the group of people over which a king rules. (Rev 1:9, Col 1:13, 2 Pet 1:11, etc)

Based upon the above Scriptures we can see that these three titles are describing the same event and will be used as such in this study.

Although we cannot visibly see His authority, we certainly can see His authority at work in the world around us.  By His grace, He has displayed for us His authority, throughout the Scriptures, in many different ways.

Let’s take a look and see the God’s authority to rule displayed for all to see throughout the Bible…  

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

The Kingdom of Christ:

Eph 5:5,

 

The Kingdom of God:

Matt 6:33, 12:28, 19:24, 21:31, 21:43;

Mark 1:14, 1:15, 4:11, 4:26, 4:30, 9:1, 9:47, 10:14, 10:15, 10:23, 10:24, 10:25, 12:34, 14:25, 15:43;

Luke 4:43, 6:20, 7:28, 8:1, 8:10, 9:2, 9:11, 9:27, 9:60, 9:62, 10:9, 10:11, 10:20, 12:31, 13:18, 13:20, 13:28, 13:29, 14:15, 16:16, 17:20, 17:21, 18:16, 18:17, 18:24, 18:25, 18:29, 19:11, 21:31, 22:16, 22:18, 23:51;

John 3:3, 3:5;

Acts 1:3, 8:12, 14:22, 19:8, 20:25, 28:23, 28:31;

Roms 14:17;

1 Cor 4:20, 6:9, 6:10, 15:50;

Gal 5:21;

Col 4:11;

2 Thess 1:5.

 

The Kingdom of Heaven:

Matt 3:2, 4:17, 5:3, 5:10, 5:19, 5:20, 7:21, 8:11, 10:7, 11:11, 11:12, 13:11, 13:24, 13:31, 13:33, 13:44, 13:45, 13:47, 13:52, 16:19, 18:1, 18:3, 18:4, 18:23, 19:12, 19:14, 19:23, 20:1, 22:2, 23:13, 25:1, 25:14

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, “The Kingdom of Christ”, “the Kingdom Of God”, and “the Kingdom of Heaven”.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

Please note:

The Kingdom of Christ is only used in Ephesians 5:5 and is clearly speaking of the perfect reign of Christ that will take place throughout eternity.  In this text, it is equated with the Kingdom of God because both Christ and the Father will be reigning throughout eternity. (Rev 22:3-5; see also Rev 21:7-8, Rev 21:24-27)

Also “the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven” are equated as well.  Please note the following references which show that, in many cases, these titles are used synonymously…

Matt 4:17 – Mark 1:15;

Matt 5:3,10- Luke 6:20-22; Matt 8:11-Luke 13:28;

Matt 10:7-Luke 9:60;

Matt 11:11-Luke 7:28;

Matt 11:12-Luke 16:16;

Matt 13:11-Mark 4:11;

Matt 13:31-Mark 4:30-31; Matt 13:33 – Luke 13:20-21; Matt 19:14-Mark 10:14;

Matt 19:23-Mark 10:23;

Matt 25:14-Luke 19:11-13.

 

THE STUDY: 

It is important for us to understand that the Lord displays His authority to rule in different ways that will vary throughout time.

In the Old Testament, some of the major ways He displayed His authority to rule was in:

  1. His sovereign rulership over creation (including mankind)…

And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom [is] from generation to generation:  And all the inhabitants of the earth [are] reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and [among] the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”   (Daniel 4:34-35)

 

  1. His rulership over the fledgling nation of physical Israel during the times of the judges…

Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, 

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. 

And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.  According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.  Now therefore hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.”  (1 Samuel 8:4-9)

 

  1. His rulership over the unified and divided nation of physical Israel during the times of the Kings…

Wherefore David blessed the LORD before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed [be] thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

Thine, O LORD, [is] the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all [that is] in the heaven and in the earth [is thine]; thine [is] the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.  Both riches and honour [come] of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand [is] power and might; and in thine hand [it is] to make great, and to give strength unto all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.”  (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the Old Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law [is] within my heart.”  (Psalms 40:8)

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.”   (Haggai 1:12)

 

 

In New Testament times, He displayed His authority to rule in very similar ways….

  1. His sovereign rulership over His creation (including mankind)…

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;  And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:  For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:24-28)

 

  1. His rulership in the heart of the lives of the New Testament saints, which included both Jews and Gentiles (the spiritual nation of Israel)…

For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 

[Whereof] the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,  This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

Now where remission of these [is, there is] no more offering for sin.”   (Hebrews 10:14-18)

 

  1. His rule over His local assemblies…

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated [us] into the kingdom of his dear Son:  In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:  Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;  And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven.”   (Colossians 1:13-20)

 

Into eternity future, the Lord’s ruling authority will be shown. The following is an incomplete list of His sovereignty on display during the end-time events…

  1. His taking of His saints…

For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.  Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.  The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.  For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.

And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.”  (1 Corinthians 15:21-28)

 

  1. His punishment of the powers of darkness of this world…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;  That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all [men, both] free and bond, both small and great.

And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.  And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.  And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which [sword] proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”  (Revelation 19:17-21)

 

  1. His millennial reign (the first part of His eternal reign)…

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”  (Revelation 20:4) 

 

  1. The final judgment…

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”  (Revelation 20:12-15)

 

 

  1. His rulership throughout eternity…

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:  And they shall see his face; and his name [shall be] in their foreheads.

And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”   (Revelation 22:2-5)

 

As you can see, throughout history from eternity past and proceeding into eternity present, we find the Lord consistently revealing to mankind…

The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.”  (Exodus 15:18)

 

In the NT the Bible describes the Kingdom of the Lord using three different descriptive phrases, The Kingdom of Christ, the Kingdom Of God, and the Kingdom of Heaven.  All three of these titles are describing the same Kingdom.

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: 

What a wonderful blessing it is to be able to know that our Lord truly reigns over all things.  Without His wondrous displays of sovereignty, we would live in doubt about His control over all, but because of His many displays of rulership we can say as the Psalmist…

“But our God [is] in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”   (Psalms 115:3)

Because of this, there is no reason for worry or fright… no matter what may take place in this life, OUR GOD IS IN CONTROL!  And we have a consistent source of proofs that this is so!

The Seven Seals Compared To Matthew 24:

The visions of the seven seals given to John in Revelation, and the teachings of Christ concerning the signs of His second coming found in the gospels correspond perfectly with one another.  In order to emphasize the meaning of the seven seals of Revelation, I would like us to come to an understanding of the perfect alignment that is found in these two Scripture texts.   

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Matthew 24:1-51

Mark 13:1-37

Luke 21:5-36

Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-9:21, 11:15-19, 16:1-21

 

THE STUDY:

First, the lesson taught by Christ concerning the signs of His coming can be found in three of the gospels. Each account is parallel in nature, the Bible is recording this one lesson from three different perspectives. Keep in mind, these three texts record a SINGULAR LESSON that is taught by Christ Himself…

 

Segment of Teaching Matthew 24: Mark 13: Luke 21:
The Question 24:1-3 13:1-4 21:5-7
(1)  And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.(2)  And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (1)  And as he went out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here!(2)  And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(3)  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives over against the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately,(4)  Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? (5)  And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,(6)  As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.(7)  And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
Trials Faced By Lost and Saved Alike 24:4-8 13:5-8 21:8-11
(4)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(6)  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (5)  And Jesus answering them began to say, Take heed lest any man deceive you:(6)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.(7)  And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; but the end shall not be yet.(8)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows. (8)  And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.(9)  But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.(10)  Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:(11)  And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Trials Faced By All Christians 24:9-14 13:9-13 21:12-19
(9)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.(11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.(14)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (9)  But take heed to yourselves: for they shall deliver you up to councils; and in the synagogues ye shall be beaten: and ye shall be brought before rulers and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them.(10)  And the gospel must first be published among all nations.(11)  But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.(12)  Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.(13)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. (12)  But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.(13)  And it shall turn to you for a testimony.(14)  Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:(15)  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.(16)  And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.(17)  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.(18)  But there shall not an hair of your head perish.(19)  In your patience possess ye your souls.
Trials Faced By The Jewish Nation 24:15-29 13:14-25 21:20-26
(15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoreadeth, let him understand:)(16)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17)  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18)  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19)  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20)  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.(22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.(23)  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(24)  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.(25)  Behold, I have told you before.

(26)  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

(27)  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

(28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

(29)  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

 

(14)  But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him thatreadeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:(15)  And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house:(16)  And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.(17)  But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(18)  And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter.(19)  For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.(20)  And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days.(21)  And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or,lo, he is there; believe him not:(22)  For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.(23)  But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.24)  But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

(25)  And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

 

(20)  And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.(21)  Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.(22)  For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.(23)  But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.(24)  And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.(25)  And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;(26)  Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
The 2nd Coming Of Christ 24:30-31 13:26-27 21:27-28
(30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (26)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.(27)  And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.  (27)  And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.(28)  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Parable Of Fig Tree 24:32-36 13:28-33 21:29-33
(32)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:(33)  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.(34)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.(35)  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.(36)  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. (28)  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near:(29)  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.(30)  Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.(31)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.(32)  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.(33)  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. (29)  And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;(30)  When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(31)  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.(32)  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.(33)  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
3 Examples Of Unreadiness 24:37-44
(37)  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(38)  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,(39)  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(40)  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(41)  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.(42)  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.(43)  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.(44)  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Exhortation To be Ready 24:45—51 13:34-37 21:34-36
(45)  Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?(46)  Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.(47)  Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.(48)  But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;(49)  And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;(50)  The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,(51)  And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (34)  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.(35)  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:(36)  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.(37)  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. (34)  And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.(35)  For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.(36)  Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

 

 

From this table, it is very easy to see the parallel nature of the accounts of this event found in Matt, Mark and Luke.  Matthew’s seems to be the most detailed.  This makes sense because Matthew is the only author of the three that personally accompanied Christ during His earthly ministry.  Both Mark and Luke wrote their accounts from second hand sources.

In the other portion of our lesson, I would like us to examine the seven seals presented by John in Revelation with the above accounts of Christ’s teaching on the same subject… the signs that will take place before His second coming to the earth.

Because the account of Christ’s teaching in Matthew is the most detailed, we will use the Matthew text in this comparison.  However, it would be possible to use any (or all) of the three gospel accounts in comparison with the seven seals of Revelation…

 

Seal # Descript Revelation TextRev 6:1-17 Affects WorldMatt 24:4-8Matt 24:29-31 Affects ChristiansMatt 24:9-14 Affects Jewish NationMatt 24:15-28
1 Anti-Christs& False Teachers 6:1-2 24:4-5 24:11-13 24:23-28
(1)  And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.(2)  And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. (4)  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.(5)  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. (11)  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.(12)  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.(13)  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  (23)  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.(24)  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.(25)  Behold, I have told you before.(26)  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.(27)  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.(28)  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
2 Wars & Rumours Of Wars 6:3-4 24:6-7a 24:15-21
(3)  And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see.(4)  And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. (6)  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.(7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (15)  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)(16)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:(17)  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:(18)  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.(19)  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!(20)  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:(21)  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
3 Famines & Shortage 6:5-6 24:7b
(5)  And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.(6)  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine. (7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
4 Horrific Deaths 6:7-8 24:7c-8 24:22a
(7)  And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.(8)  And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. (7)  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.(8)  All these are the beginning of sorrows. (22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
5 Persecution  Christians 6:9-11 24:9-10 24:22b
(9)  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:(10)  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?(11)  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. (9)  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.(10)  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. (22)  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
Six Darkness In Heavens 6:12-17 24:29
(12)  And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;(13)  And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.(14)  And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.(15)  And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;(16)  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:(17)  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? 29) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
InterLude Protecting God’s People /Prelude To His Coming Revelation 7:1-17 Matthew 24:30-31
Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages) (30)  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.(31)  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
7 God’s Wrath At The 2nd Coming 8:1-13; 16:1-21; 19:11-21
Text Omitted Due To Length(Please refer to Bible for these passages)

 

 

As you can see from the above, chart the very same events that are described in Christ’s teachings on the signs of His coming are identical to the seven seals of the scroll of Revelation.

This is important for us to understand, because it is another proof that the seven six represent the events that must take place before Christ’s 2nd coming.   The seventh seal reveals the wrath of God that falls at His 2nd coming.

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

The Benefits and Dangers of Meditation

SIH STSTA ICONIt seems as if the practice of meditation is becoming more popular with the passing of each generation. And no wonder, the claimed benefits of habitual meditation are far reaching.  They range from alleviating stress to helping to break smoking or drinking habits and to help reduce pain.  It is claimed that “Meditation is wonderful in that it’s free, always available, and amazingly effective in short-term stress reduction and long-term health.”  With claims such as these, is it any wonder that the number of those who practice meditation is growing throughout the world?

Mediation is described as:

“Meditation involves sitting in a relaxed position and clearing your mind.”

“Meditation encompasses a variety of practices that are somewhat different, while holding to the basic principles of consideration and quiet thought to bring about a state of rumination.

“Meditation is not a technique but a way of life. Meditation means ‘a cessation of the thought process’ . It describes a state of consciousness, when the mind is free of scattered thoughts and various patterns . The observer (one who is doing meditation) realizes that all the activity of the mind is reduced to one.”

To view the source of the preceding quotes, the results of meditation and the descriptions of meditation please see: http://stress.about.com/od/tensiontamers/p/profilemeditati.htmhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditationhttp://www.project-meditation.org/what_is_meditation.html ;

http://www.healthandyoga.com/html/meditation.html

Based upon the above, it seems as if meditation, in some cases, involves “clearing the mind’, while in other cases, it is said to centered on one centralized point of attention, while excluding “scattered thoughts and various patterns”.   There seems to be lacking a uniform, consistent definition for meditation.

Is meditation mentioned in the Bible?  If so, what is the Bible teaching on meditation?

THE SCRIPTURES:

 Gen 24:63 – 63) And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide: and he lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, the camels [were] coming.

Josh 1:8 (KJV) – 8) This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Ps 1:2 (KJV) – 2) But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Ps 5:1 (KJV) – 1) To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation.

Ps 19:14 (KJV) – 14) Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

Ps 49:3 (KJV) – 3) My mouth shall speak of wisdom; and the meditation of my heart [shall be] of understanding.

Ps 63:6 (KJV) – 6) When I remember thee upon my bed, [and] meditate on thee in the [night] watches.

Ps 77:12 (KJV) – 12) I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

Ps 104:34 (KJV) – 34) My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.

Ps 119:15 (KJV) – 15) I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

Ps 119:23 (KJV) – 23) Princes also did sit [and] speak against me: [but] thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

Ps 119:48 (KJV) – 48) My hands also will I lift up unto thy commandments, which I have loved; and I will meditate in thy statutes.

Ps 119:78 (KJV) – 78) Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: [but] I will meditate in thy precepts.

Ps 119:97 (KJV) – 97) MEM. O how love I thy law! it [is] my meditation all the day.

Ps 119:99 (KJV) – 99) I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies [are] my meditation.

Ps 119:148 (KJV) – 148) Mine eyes prevent the [night] watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

Ps 143:5 (KJV) – 5) I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.

Isa 33:18 (KJV) – 18) Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where [is] the scribe? where [is] the receiver? where [is] he that counted the towers?

Mark 13:11 (KJV) – 11) But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

Luke 21:14 (KJV)- 14) Settle [it] therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:

1Tim 4:10-15 (KJV) – 10) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.  11) These things command and teach. 12) Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13) Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.15) Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

 THE STUDY:

In the Old Testment, the word “meditate” or “meditation” is translated from three different words.

  1. In Genesis 24:63 the Hebrew word means “to muse” or “to be absorbed in thought, to turn over in the mind”
  2. In all the Psalm 119 references to “meditate” the Hebrew word means “to speak to yourself, to think deeply and thoroughly”
  3. In all the other OT references a different Hebrew word with much the same meaning is used “to mutter, to ponder”

In all the New Testament references, the word “meditate” is translated from a Greek word that means “to revolve in the mind, to look over from every angle”.

What does the definitions for meditate teach us about Biblical meditation?:

  1. In EVERY case, to meditate Biblically involves having our mind thinking about something.  NEVER does the Lord tell us to “empty our mind” or “clear your mind” or “cease your mental processes”. I believe this is a point that needs emphasis… To empty our minds of every thought is a very dangerous practice.  The dark (sinful, demonic) powers of this world seek to inhabit lives that are “emptied” (Matt 12:43-45)  I believe, by emptying one’s mind opens up an opportunity for Satanic oppression of the emptied mind.
  2. Biblical mediation involves active mental concentration and examination.  If you notice in our definitions some of the terms used are “to turn over in the mind”, “to think deeply and thoroughly”, “to ponder, and to look over at every angle”.  None of these words implies a state of rest or cessation of the minds activities.

To summarize our definition study we find that to meditate in a God honoring, Scriptural way involves a mind actively examining and thinking.  NEVER does the Lord advocate a empty or inactive mind.  This type of inactivity, very possibly, can open the door to demonic influence.

Now, let’s continue our study by answering the question what subjects should a Christian be meditating about?

“To meditate” or “meditation” is mentioned in the Bible 21 times… Gen 24:63;  Josh 1:8; Psa 1:2, 5:1, 19:14, 49:3, 63:6, 77:12, 104:34, Psa 119:15, 23, 46, 78, 97,  99, 148, 143:5;  Isa 33:18;  Mark 13:11;  Luke 21:14;  1 Tim 4:15.

If we study these references, in their context we find the following:

  1. Subject of meditation not described: Gen 24:63

(Although we are not told, Isaac was thinking about something!  Based upon the word used for meditation he was “absorbed in thought” over some subject, we are simply not told what that subject is.)

  1. Subject of meditation Word of God: Josh 1:8, Psa 1:2, Psa 119:15, 23, 46, 78, 97, 99, 148
  2. Subject of meditation burdens on heart seeking His mercy: Psa 5:1
  3. Subject of meditation desires of heart being acceptable to the Lord: Psa 19:14,
  4. Subject of meditation spiritual understanding: Psa 49:3
  5. Subject of meditation The Lord and His works: Psa 63:6, Psa 77:12, Psa 104:34, Psa 143:5
  6. Subject of meditation terror for disobedient facing Divine judgment: Isa 33:18
  7. Subject of mediation the gospel message and need for service to Him: 1 Tim 4:10-15
  8. Not to be a subject of meditation: Concern, worry about answering opponents of Lord : Mark 13:11, Luke 21:14

To summarize the above:

  1. As faithful children… we are to be thinking about Our Heavenly Father, His works, and His Word.  They should always be on our minds.   We should seek quiet times when uninterrupted, we can solely place our minds and hearts on Him.
  2. As burdened pilgrims on earth… we should be taking quiet times to concentrate on turning our trials over to Him seeking His presence, mercy and strength.
  3. As faithful servants… we should be meditating on our desires, making sure they are pleasing to Him; we should be examining the understanding He has given to us to enable us to serve Him in greater ways.   Finally, our meditations should also involve an examination of our lives making sure we are leading lives of holiness and separation to His work.
  4. As witnesses of His grace in salvation,… we are to always have the gospel message of grace upon our hearts, remembering what He has done for us and our need to share it with others. We are to lay aside any worry about how to answer those who oppose our message.
  5. As those who have never experienced God’s gracious salvation but are continuing to face His wrath… examine your current condition and allow terror to fill your mind, as you continue to face judgment from Almighty God.  Turn to Him and trust in Him, realizing that the Lord is abundantly gracious, slow to anger and of great mercy.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

The Lord summarize what our daily meditations should be based upon….

May the Lord bless our times of Godly meditation when we turn our minds to these things….

Phil 4:4-9 (KJV)

4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.

5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord [is] at hand.

6) Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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